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Old 09-10-2011, 10:28 AM
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Dovestrobe Dovestrobe is offline
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Default Accident Report

I've been lucky. I haven't had that many accidents, really bad accidents. Two so far, so for my 30 plus years of riding that ain't bad! The most recent:
August 12, 2011
I had left the Fanno Creek MUP that crosses SW Hall Blvd in town. The Blvd has four lanes with one center turn lane, five lanes all together.

To cross the Blvd, required me to ride along it for a while looking for a break in traffic. By turning my head to check behind me every once in a while. Eventually I saw my window of opportunity, a sports car was about 100 yards behind me, so I signaled Left and began to merge toward the center turning lane. Suddenly a speeding car sound erupted behind me and I figured, well, he wants to pass me. So I'll just stay here in the right lane and hold my pattern.

Unfortunately, that was not a wise decision, I soon realized he was right behind me, but too late. He didn't even see me. Accelerated into me near the time of impact. You know the sound a car makes when taking a freeway onramp!? I went sailing over his car, bike and all, landing on the asphalt. I'm very lucky! I was able to pick up my bike and walk while bleeding to the side of the road. Unbelievable! How many cyclists have survived an accident like this?! Bruise to my forehead (I was wearing my helmet), scrape to my knees, two stitches to my right knee, sprained left thumb. I was sent via ambulance to Saint Vincents. Get this, the first thing that the driver said when he went up to me, "Dude, why were you riding in my lane!?"
No witnesses. Plenty of good samaritans assisted me prior to the Tualitan Fire Dept arriving. The Driver remained. However he told the cop a story like this: "The cyclist just moved out, I had no warning. I was going 30 mph." The Beaverton Police Officer, Officer Mills, seemed to harken more to his statement than to mine. So what's knew?!


Overall, very little damage to my person, again, considering the circumstances. I still don't know why the driver didn't brake or honk or something before impact. It took me around a week before I was riding again. Glad to be still alive!
CIMG0174.jpg
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I think there aught to be a mandatory announcement to all the community of Portland of all bike versus car accidents. Not just the one's where somebody gets killed! I believe there was a site that reported this in the past. Anyone know if it still exists?
11 years ago
I had an instance in Berkeley CA, where I was riding down College Avenue and a line of cars were stopped waiting for the light to change at Clairemont Ave. I was passing a black SUV when it decided spontaneously to move into a DIAGONAL parking spot and caught my front wheel in its (passenger side) front wheel. I was thrown at least 15 feet into that empty parking spot. Luckily I had taken an anatomy class and knew that it is detrimental to fall on one's hands (wrists -- fragile, upper arm connection--fragile) so I immediately turned mid flight and landed on my back pack. All these folks were staring down at me and telling me to sue and get as much as I could. Thankfully, no harm happened to me. My front wheel was pretzeled, so I asked the SUV owner to pay the forty to replace it! He and his girlfriend drove me home, he was sure shaken.
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Last edited by Dovestrobe; 09-10-2011 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:17 PM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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It is amazing how "innocent" people become when the blue suits arrive. Glad you're healing up nicely. That bike looks like toast, though.

I trust that regardless of the "story told" that his insurance covered everything since he did technically rear-end you?
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:22 PM
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Dovestrobe Dovestrobe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
It is amazing how "innocent" people become when the blue suits arrive. Glad you're healing up nicely. That bike looks like toast, though.

I trust that regardless of the "story told" that his insurance covered everything since he did technically rear-end you?
Actually my auto insurance covered the medical or perhaps his, since both of our insurance companies were in communication. His insurance, Progressive, refused to pay for the damages to my bicycle, since he was not found at fault. I only wish that there had been a witness, since obviously he was speeding and not bothering to either brake or use his horn and he had another lane of traffic to pass me on my right. I still do kick myself for not anticipating the hazard and moving back into the bike lane!

On retrospect, I feel that it was almost like a car claiming its so called turf at my expense. I'll never know if it was motive by the driver or purely an accident!

Lately I've been riding the hills and avoiding the big streets on my jaunts. Better exercise and less fear of untoward circumstances. So in a way the driver won, but trust me, if I need to ride Hall, I'll ride Hall
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Last edited by Dovestrobe; 09-10-2011 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:26 PM
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I hope your legs are healing up nicely. There were no winners in your situation but you were definitely the bigger loser due to the damage imposed on you and your bike.

You may never know what was going through his head moments before impact. Give life the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to an accident. Your soul will thank you for it.

A website with accident data would be an extremely useful tool for the city and everyone in it. I can only see it as being a voluntary admission situation (I'm sure we can all think of a dozen reasons why someone wouldn't want to be forced to post an accident). It's a really good concept. I can see it being a public service just like the Stolen Bikes section of bikeportland. Would the website contain only bicycle accident data? Or all non motorized vehicle accident data? Would it contain just accident data involving non-motorized transportation with a motor vehicle? Or all accident data that may not include motor vehicles?

I don't blame you about taking the alternate routes for awhile. I spend a lot of time on residential roads. I'm not scared of cars, they just make me uptight. I don't like the noise, the fumes, the wind they create. I just don't enjoy my time as much when i'm around cars.

I'm really glad you are alright and seemingly in good spirits. After recently experiencing a nasty fall, I wish I were there for you at that moment. To witness everything and to help.

Last edited by dmc; 09-11-2011 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:14 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Exclamation You NEED to Talk to an Attorney... ASAP

I cannot stress enough to you that you should talk to an attorney that specializes in bike/car collisions.

I've been using Swanson, Thomas, & Coon for my collisions, but there are others out there. Initial consultations are typically free.

And just because he wasn't cited doesn't mean that you can't cite him yourself, however, the clock is ticking.

Glad you are still with us, sorry to hear about your injuries and the loss of your bike.

Get Well Soon
K'Tesh
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:39 PM
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Rarely does one motor vehicle not get assigned blame if they rear end another vehicle. I sure hope that in this type of incident, bike vs car, the same set of rules apply. I'd really like to see the police report side of this.

I agree with K'Tesh, you have every reason to challenge the insurance company... besides, if you win, they have to pay for the attorney fees too. All you will be out is a consultation, with the likely satisfaction that the insurance co. would be happy to settle quickly once they know they've been put on the legal radar.

The biggest fear insurance co. have is people who won't get certified medically stable... this really messes with their books to enter an "uncertainty" entry. You have loss and pain/suffering. It is going to be -very- difficult to deny liability in this with the evidence you already have. And you won't need to deal with the driver... that is why he insured.

The citation thing is a whole other matter.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:16 AM
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Without witnesses and considering your condition after the collision, I think you've got a sequence of events that will be very tough to prove. Assuming you had a team of investigators on hand, how would they even be able to convincingly prove what happened?

The officer's reaction upon hearing both of your accounts just after the collision probably shouldn't have much bearing placed on it. Unless the circumstances at the scene that he would have had to quickly observe and take in obviously led to one or the other of you being primarily responsible for the collision, it doesn't seem as though he could very well issue a citation. But still: the driver of the car rear-ended you. That's a fairly clear indication of some crucial level of road user inattentiveness.

If the driver had said 'I clearly saw him in the bike lane, but the dude suddenly pulled right in front of my car just as I was close on his wheel...there was nothing I could do to avoid hitting him', that might have made for a kind of extenuating circumstance...even though he still rear-ended you. Assuming your report is accurate, what he actually said, implicates him and establishes his responsibility for the collision. You had been in 'his lane' for some period of time...signaled for a turn for some period of time...but the driver failed to notice those warnings.

A much closer investigation...of the scene...the bike...possible damage to the car...your condition...the condition of the person driving (determining whether or not drunk, somewhat drunk or high...fatigue....blood/sugar imbalance...etc), might reveal/have revealed things that would prove your account of the collision.
If you've got the energy to do it though, it probably would help to make a bit of a stir over what happened to you, especially considering the location being Hall Blvd at Fanno Creek Trail. Obviously, the collision point being very near the park, and your origin point onto Hall being from the park, underlies the fact that a lot of people riding bikes are apt to be taking the very same traffic route you attempted to take.

This section of Hall Blvd is extremely dangerous due to the volume and rate of speed of motor vehicle traffic there. Its long, straight, dipping character makes it a kind of speedway, unless traffic is jammed up, slowing motor vehicle traffic down. Research into the road's history would reveal that this is an example of a road that planners and engineers not so long ago, 'upgraded', to enable greater vehicle handling capacity.

I've driven and ridden it both before and after the changes. It was a fairly beautiful, slower traveled, less traveled road before the changes. Narrower too, making it easier to cross on a bike. After the change, and with increases in population coupled with planning that obliged people to continue doing a lot of driving for basic needs, Hall Blvd became the ugly gut it is today. Not to get off topic, but a bit of perspective may be helpful to understand why the kind of collision you were a victim of, happens.

I'm just writing these thoughts off the top of my head as I sit here trying to relax. If any of you regulars think of a legitimate reason they shouldn't be posted online, say so and I'll be happy to delete them, or the mod can go ahead and do so with my blessings.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:36 AM
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Thumbs down Bias

With no witnesses, your story will not be believed, while the driver's will be entered in the police report as fact. Rest assured that the cop believes with all his heart that you are an idiot. You should probably still talk to a lawyer to find out whether there is any way to make your case. You have every right to leave the bike lane to "prepare to make a left turn". The only point of contention is whether you left the driver enough time to react. Without witnesses or video, it is your word against his, and you already know whose story the officer at the scene tended to "harken" to.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:43 AM
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Default http://bikeportland.org/closecall/home.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dovestrobe View Post
I think there aught to be a mandatory announcement to all the community of Portland of all bike versus car accidents. Not just the one's where somebody gets killed! I believe there was a site that reported this in the past. Anyone know if it still exists?
http://bikeportland.org/closecall/home.php

I don't know why it's not linked from the homepage, anymore.

That sounds like one H*** of a crash, glad you survived it as well as you did! As K'Tesh and Simple Nature said, I'd talk to a lawyer, too.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:44 AM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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Your thoughts are always welcome here in my eyes, Bob

And I will second the observations about Hall Blvd. I've been a long time casual user of this road section and, although the condition of the section we are discussing is very well maintained, the Fanno Creek crossing, which is the subject of so many other discussions, is a PITA and indeed, Bike/Ped unfriendly in all respects.

On another note in a similar vain, -any- lane merging from a bike lane to the main traffic lane seems to disturb the general driving public. I have noticed that even slowing and minding my mirrors seems to spook the driving public and forces them to slow down and pay attention even without signaling. I prefer to make my left turns from traffic lanes rather than going into pedestrian mode or choose a right turn and cross the street. The ladder being of use when no break in the traffic occurs.

The fact that this @$$ would hit the gas, presumably to make a "gestured" right side pass and miscalculating the OPs intended action makes this occasion particularly dangerous. This kind of behavior should in fact be considered criminal under reckless endangerment. A witness here would have been sublime.
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